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by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
The three lifts at the South Rand Hospital in south Johannesburg have been broken for more than three weeks, forcing porters to carry patients and even dead bodies on the stairs.
These lifts have not been fixed since breaking in mid-January because the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development has not paid the lift maintenance contract.
Meanwhile, patients must be carried up and down stairs to have surgery, and dead bodies are carried down to the basement mortuary of this 7-storey building.
Food for patients is carried up the stairs, causing great stress for staff. A cleaner fell while hauling up a large pot of porridge but was fortunately not injured.
Lifts have also failed at other Gauteng public hospitals, including the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and the Steve Biko Hospital.
It is disgraceful that something as simple as keeping lifts in good order is not achieved in our hospitals which suffer from years of neglect in maintenance of facilities.
This is aggravated by the failure to pay contractors because of bad financial management.
I have alerted Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi to this dire situation which needs her urgent attention.
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